Classical:NEXT asks ‘What the France!?’

Classical:NEXT will attempt to unpick the lock of France’s seemingly closed music scene at its upcoming conference. Running from 16-19 May at de Doelen in Rotterdam, the C:N schedule features a packed programme of showcases, debates, talks, networking sessions and its annual Innovation Award.

The tricolour is raised on Wednesday night with What The France!?, an opening showcase curated by Le Bureau Export.

Said C:N director Jennifer Dautermann: “The French scene opens its arms here, inviting the international professional community to discover the wide variety of its musical excellence as an overture to French content over the following three days which will feature additional concerts, conference sessions and speed datings.”

Aside from the French connection, C:N’s performance programme is split across concert showcases, club showcases and club DJs: Brouwer Trio (Spain), Cuarteto Q-Arte (Columbia), Edge Ensemble (the Netherlands), Kirill Richter (Russia), Abraham Brody (Lithuania) and Gabriel Prokofiev (UK) are all on the bill.

Unsurprisingly technology and innovation are central to the programme. Sessions include ‘Approaching New Classical Music Listeners Online’ with Paul Bräuer (Piranha Arts); ‘Opportunities for Artists & Labels in Streaming’ whose panel includes Becky Lees (head of LSO Live) and Kayla Ganz (Naxos director of streaming); and ‘Video for a Mobile World’ led by Oscar Swedrup from digital agency Amphio.

“We need to understand better the way music lovers behave online and use the digital sphere when it comes to listening to classical and contemporary music,” said C:N director of communications Paul Bräuer. “This is significantly different than for other genres, so we’re asking how, why and when does a classical/contemporary music listener go online?”

Elsewhere ‘Classical Music for Young Audiences: A chance to reinvent the classical concert format?’ explores the needs and expectations of a new generation; while ‘Drumming Up Support: Crowdsourcing classical music projects’, chaired by Kate Caro from Intermusica, looks at financing classical music.

The Innovation Award returns for a fourth instalment: 12 names have made the shortlist, among them Iván Fischer; New World Symphony and Les Talens Lyrique for its suite of apps.

At the beating heart of the experience is C:N’s huge expo, with a plethora of stands dedicated to different countries; network meetings are being held for ABO, FEVIS, IAMIC and Asia Pacific Basin Network. Meanwhile 14 Project Pitches will come from companies like Chamber Made Opera (Australia), El Sistema Greece and She She Pop (Germany).